A violation of Ohio’s Nurse Practice Act can result in a disciplinary action by the Board. Disciplinary cases are often grouped into the following categories: practice related, drug related, boundary violations, sexual misconduct, abuse, fraud, positive criminal background checks (NCSBN, 2018b). Practice related cases can include failure to:
A complaint filed with the Board first undergoes an initial review, which can vary depending on the seriousness of the alleged violation. The Board can request additional documents, conduct a site visit, and interview witnesses. The licensee is often asked to respond to allegations in writing (NCSBN, 2018b).
Once the initial investigation is completed, the BON can take several actions. It may close the case, schedule a settlement conference, offer an alternative program or file formal charges. If there is clear and convincing evidence that continued practice by the nurse will present a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public, the Board may decide to take an emergency action such as a suspension of a nurse’s license (NCSBN, 2018b).
Disciplinary actions vary depending on state law. Board actions may include:
Once the disciplinary process is complete, the Board may include lists of disciplinary actions on state databases, newsletters, and websites. BONs also report disciplinary action to Nursys. Nursys is the only national database for verification of nurse licensure, discipline, and practice privileges for RNs and PNs licensed in participating jurisdictions (NCSBN, 2018b).
[For more detail on disciplinary actions, please see the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4723.28, Disciplinary Actions and OAC Chapters, 4723-16, Hearings, and 4723-18, Practice Intervention and Improvement Program: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4723.28v1.